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20 years of lacrosse sparks new fire in lax athletes

Lane+lacrosse+athlete+during+a+game
Lane lacrosse athlete during a game

Lane lacrosse athlete during a game

Photo by Lane Lacrosse Website

Photo by Lane Lacrosse Website

Lane lacrosse athlete during a game

By Kelly Watson

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Varsity head coach Ryan Shaw has been involved with lacrosse for over 35 years. Throughout that time he’s seen the sport grow immensely. From the bigger and louder crowds to the more competitive and grueling seasons, he has been there through it all.  

In 1997, Lane first implemented their boys lacrosse team and since then it has grown tremendously.

The team is preparing for their 20th season this year as new changes are being made to the sport in IHSA (Illinois High School Association). After many years of debate, IHSA will officially define lacrosse as an IHSA sport in the spring of 2018. UuuhimunknownhymnygYukuuhuyumy?ase2a

Since 1990, over 80 lacrosse teams have been added to IHSLA (Illinois high school lacrosse association), according to the IHSA website.

When Lane’s team was first founded, there were only 25 lacrosse teams in the whole state and now there are over 100.

IHSA’s new addition of lacrosse will “lend another air of legitimacy to the sport as we emerge” said Ryan Shaw, varsity lacrosse coach. “We’ve had 20+ years of the IHSLA, which is kind of an independent body, so moving forward into an IHSA model is gonna level the playing field.”

Not only will moving into IHSA level the playing field, but it shows how significant lacrosse has become. With all of the changes taking place with IHSA, the lacrosse athletes are as focused as ever on their 20th season. The team’s keys for success are simple.

“We operate under a bunch of different things. One being to get better every day.” said Shaw “If you leave practice or a game better than you’ve started, then we’ve reached a goal.”

Three years ago, Ryan Shaw became the new varsity coach and the program has taken a new shape and even the players themselves notice.

“Fast forwarding to this year, being a varsity captain and starter, it is hard to believe all the change that has happened to me throughout my years with Lane Tech Lacrosse,” said Vince Wilkinson Div. 883, one of the team’s captain’s. The team as a whole is continuing to grow and work as hard as they do every year.

In honor of the 20th anniversary, the team wants to host and take home the city championship title.

“The 20th anniversary means a lot to the team. We all have a special connection to the game and knowing that we are playing in the twentieth year of Lane Tech is something really cool to think about” Wilkinson said.

The team hasn’t won a city title since spring of 2013 and now the players are coming to take back their title.

“We want to play intelligent lacrosse as gentlemen with a rabid passion for victory” Shaw said. And that is exactly what the team is going to do in order to attain the city title.

Last year, the lacrosse team didn’t have any seniors so unlike many other programs, they are able to keep the same team as last year.

“Usually teams have to rebuild [themselves] from scratch when players leave. This year, all we’re doing is getting stronger and growing as not only a team but as a family.” said senior Brian Tait, Div. 771. Tait has been a starter on varsity since his freshman year and has won three all-conference awards.

  The team is working as hard as ever and as Tait stated, the 20th anniversary is “ just another year that we’re going to try to win the city championship.”

 

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20 years of lacrosse sparks new fire in lax athletes